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Here Now, Lovely 3D Scans of Architecture's Delicate Bones

While the technology been around for decades, 3D scanning has recently caught the eye of the architecture nerd crowd, and it's not too difficult to see why. The process, which essentially involves taking a sphere of images at different points around each room, can capture every detail—light switches, outlets, window treatments, flooring, etc.—of a building's facade or interior. The Atlantic Cities recently spotlighted the scans of Scott Page, who set up his 11-pound laser scanner in many of San Francisco's old churches. Page's scanner comes up with 84 digital images in each of the spots where he positions the camera—and that might mean some 30 different locations for a single property, as was the case for Bernard Maybeck's First Church of Christ Scientists in Berkely, Calif. (above). It all produces crisp, detail-loaded maps that somehow manage to look halfway between a watercolor painting and a digital rendering.

"Like our brains, we can go around and look at everything in a room, close our eyes, and imagine what a room looks like from different positions, even though we were only standing in one of them," Page told The Atlantic Cities. "The computer in the scanner does that as well."

· Stunning Laser Scans That Could Help Us Reuse Aging Buildings Better [The Atlantic Cities via Gizmodo]